Senate

Paul, Lee call on Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy

Getty Images

GOP Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and Mike Lee (Utah) are pushing Donald Trump to work with Congress on foreign policy, including hashing out the incoming president’s war powers. 

The two libertarian-leaning GOP senators sent the president-elect a letter stressing that working with lawmakers will be the only way to have “success and stability” on foreign policy. 
 
“As you begin your administration, we hope that you will work closely with Congress to determine and implement foreign policy and security strategies that have broad support from the American people,” the senators wrote.
 
Trump and GOP senators have frequently been at odds on some national security issues, including waterboarding and the need for Russian sanctions. 
 
{mosads}Paul and Lee stressed that military power is divided between Congress and the president under the Constitution so it can be “informed by a long-term vision of American interests … while remaining flexible enough to respond to threats.”
 
The two GOP senators have also broken with their party on some foreign policy fights. Lee partnered in 2015 with Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tom Udall (N.M.) and Chris Murphy (Conn.) to call on President Obama to end the train-and-equip program for Syrian rebels. 
 
Paul and Lee added in their letter that an uptick in military operations, including a no-fly zone or increasing the number of troops, in the Middle East or northern Africa should only take place after “formal authorization by Congress.”
 
“We further believe that you should work closely with Congress to review, reform or repeal the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs,” they added. 
 
Their push for Trump to pass a new authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) puts them at odds with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, which would oversee any new proposal.
 
Corker has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe a new war bill is needed. He told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor event earlier this month that a new AUMF “wouldn’t be my first request” for the Trump administration. 
 
Despite bipartisan support for a new war bill, lawmakers in both parties have been locked in a yearslong policy and political stalemate.
 
Paul and Lee also criticized Obama’s foreign policy, arguing it was “shaped by titanic shifts away from the post-Cold War status quo” including increasingly aggressive moves from Russia and China.  
Tags Bob Corker Chris Murphy Donald Trump Joe Manchin Mike Lee Rand Paul Tom Udall
See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more

Video

See all Video